December’s blog is from our very own Pete Holden who has given us an insight into what it’s like being Depot Principal for both Palletline and Hazchem. He shares his thoughts on what its like to be on the inside of both organisations as well as being the Network Director for Anglia Freight.

You are Depot Principal for both Palletline and Hazchem, but what does this mean? It means taking overall responsibility for my teams’ actions in terms of service delivery, making sure we can deliver on what we say we will. It is also a more customer-facing role, regularly contacting customers as well as members of the Hazchem and Palletline networks.

Why did you get involved? I am incredibly passionate about collaborative logistics and that’s why I got involved. Being able to assist and action the passing of freight between partners, overnight, to achieve an overarching goal, while playing the part of customer and supplier, excites me hugely. My background means that I’m well versed in various network freight roles. Following on from Anglia Freight’s recent succession planning exercise, where we shaped the ‘next generation’ Board of Directors, this naturally lead to me taking on the mantle from our founder, Geoff Moulton.

Describe your role as Depot Principal and what’s the best thing about it? Ultimately, I deal with matters that are escalated directly to me for resolution, but as the team we’ve created is so strong, this means that this is a rare occurrence. We work well together and are united towards a common goal as well as building relationships with other depots. It’s also our aim to allow our teams complete autonomy for decision making on a day to day basis. The best thing about it? That would have to be working with like-minded, regional, family run logistics businesses within the UK and Europe which includes all staff at Anglia Freight and key customers and staff at Palletline and Hazchem.

What sort of things do you get involved in? I usually get involved when my team needs support to navigate through challenging issues and situations. I also get involved when we have to quote and move unusual sized freight, or freight that needs to be transported to tricky locations such as boats, to the top of tower blocks, or high-security sites. In particular, we were involved in transporting bottled water to the Olympic stadiums during the London 2012 Olympics. This came with its own challenges including high levels of security authorisation and we delivered a lot of freight in and around London at night to avoid congestion.

What do you think will be the big news and challenges for Palletline & Hazchem in 2018 and how will this affect Anglia Freight? We have a new Palletline regional hub opening in Q2 of 2018 and we’ll have a new central Hazchem hub opening in Hinckley in 2019. This will add capacity and operational efficiencies to our business by allowing more freight to be handled in a shorter period of time. It effectively gives Anglia Freight more flexibility and headroom. The main challenges will relate to increasing fuel costs and staffing as we may see UK foreign workers returning to their countries of origin as a result of Brexit. This will affect our customers because we pass on fuel variations via a price linked mechanism and we rely on both UK and European drivers to pilot our fleet.